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NCAA president Charlie Baker distances himself from predecessor’s insurance policies on trans athletes

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Former Massachusetts governor and present NCAA president Charlie Baker on Tuesday distanced himself from his predecessor’s insurance policies associated to transgender athletes competing in ladies’s sports activities throughout his testimony earlier than a Senate committee.

Baker, who changed former NCAA president Mark Emmert in March, testified earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee on the way forward for school sports activities, particularly because it pertains to Identify, Picture and Likeness (NIL).

From left, NCAA president Charlie Baker, Large Ten Convention commissioner Tony Petitti and College of Florida gymnast Trinity Thomas are sworn in to the Senate Judiciary Committee listening to titled “Identify, Picture, and Likeness, and the Way forward for Faculty Sports activities,” within the Hart Constructing in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Name, Inc through Getty Pictures)

Throughout his testimony, Baker was requested in regards to the debate surrounding transgender athletes’ participation in ladies’s sports activities, which turned a contentious problem in 2021 with the emergence of College of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas.   

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“I am not going to defend what occurred in 2022,” Baker mentioned in response to questions in regards to the sports activities governing physique’s present coverage with regard to transgender athletes being allowed in ladies’s locker rooms.

“I wasn’t there. I used to be nonetheless governor of the commonwealth. What I’ll say is, we now have very particular guidelines and requirements across the security and safety of all our scholar athletes, and anybody who hosts certainly one of our nationwide championships has to simply accept that they know what they’re after which abide by them accordingly.

“I do not imagine that coverage could be the coverage we might use right this moment,” he continued. 

Charlie Baker testifies before senate

Charlie Baker, president of the NCAA, arrives for the Senate Judiciary Committee listening to titled “Identify, Picture, and Likeness, and the Way forward for Faculty Sports activities” within the Hart Constructing in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Name, Inc through Getty Pictures)

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Former NCAA Division I swimmer Paula Scanlan, who was a member of the College of Pennsylvania’s ladies’s crew together with Thomas, testified earlier than a Home Judiciary subcommittee in July about her expertise and revealed the affect Thomas’ presence within the locker room had on her as a survivor of sexual assault. 

“My teammates and I have been compelled to undress within the presence of Lia, a 6-foot-4-tall organic male, totally intact with male genitalia, 18 occasions per week,” Scanlan mentioned partially.  

“Some women opted to alter in lavatory stalls, and others used the household lavatory to keep away from this. Once we tried to voice our issues to the athletic division, we have been informed that Lia’s swimming and being in our locker room was a non-negotiable, and we have been provided psychological providers to try to re-educate us to grow to be snug with the concept of undressing in entrance of a male.” 

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Former NCAA Division I swimmer Paula Scanlan testifies

Former College of Pennsylvania swimmer Paula Scanlan testifies throughout the Home Judiciary Subcommittee on Structure and Restricted Authorities listening to on gender-affirming care for youngsters in July. (Jasper Colt-USA TODAY)

Riley Gaines, a 12-time All-American and five-time SEC champion, shared an identical sentiment earlier this yr when recalling the 2022 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

“We weren’t forewarned beforehand that we might be sharing a locker room with Lia. We didn’t give our consent, they didn’t ask for our consent, however in that locker room we rotated, and there’s a 6-foot-4 organic man dropping his pants and watching us undress, and we have been uncovered to male genitalia,” Gaines mentioned on the time.

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Baker was pressed additional about what measures the NCAA has taken to keep away from an identical scenario. He pointed to the brand new insurance policies set by different sports activities governing our bodies which the NCAA follows. 

“As I mentioned earlier than, the foundations round transgender athletes usually are extra restrictive right this moment than they have been in ‘22. And I can state fairly clearly that nobody’s going to get compelled into any type of scenario that is going to make them uncomfortable. We make that very clear within the steering that we give to anyone who hosts certainly one of our championships, interval,” he defined.

“I can let you know that the requirements with respect to participation for trans athletes in ladies’s sports activities have been adjusted since then and proceed to be adjusted based mostly on dialog with different governing our bodies.”

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